Proplyd in the Orion Nebula

Planet formation is a hazardous process. This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a dust disk around an embryonic star in the Orion Nebula being 'blowtorched' by a blistering flood of ultraviolet radiation from the region's brightest star. Within such a disk are the seeds of planets. The doomed system looks like a hapless comet, with a wayward tail of gas boiling off the withering, pancake-shaped disk.

A protoplanetary disk seen in silhouette against the Orion Nebula.


J. Bally (University of Colorado) and H. Throop (SWRI)

About the Image

NASA press release
Release date:26 April 2001, 20:00
Size:600 x 600 px

About the Object

Name:M 42, Messier 42, NGC 1976, Orion Proplyd
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Appearance : Dark : Proplyd
Distance:1400 light years

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